RESESS Communications Seminar
Schedule and Content
Summer 2018

Download the comprehensive RESESS Summer Syllabus


The purpose of the class is to explore non-academic communications as a student and a scientist. How can you best communicate your work to the public? How can you best present yourself to potential advisors and employers? How can you manage your public image in this mixed public-private digital age? Communicating to non-scientists effectively is critical for broadening the impact of your work—as well as getting a job!


You will have exercises assigned for this seminar throughout the summer. Although they should be taken as seriously as your other responsibilities, they should also be fun. Your own passion in what you’re communicating will automatically engage your audience.

  1. Give you the tools you need to make a broader impact with your science, starting now.
  2. Improve your confidence in public speaking and using social media for outreach.
  3. Improve your professional presence online, including on LinkedIn.
  4. Give you the tools you need to apply for a job or graduate school, including tips on professional communication and how to sell yourself over e-mail, phone, at meetings, in applications, and in interviews.
  5. Have fun!

Location and time:

We will meet in the UNAVCO Classroom (same as your morning class) every Friday, from May 25 – August 3, from 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. with the following exceptions:
May 25 - seminar from 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
June 15 – all day field trip
Thursday, August 2 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Please check the syllabus, your notes, or the website before the seminar to make sure you’re coming prepared.

Published texts:

None. Please check your e-mail or the website for materials.

Week 1 - Friday, May 25 Overview of summer; research ethics introduction; effectively working with your mentors; and self care
Week 2 - Friday, June 1 Professional communication I: email, resumes, CVs, and cover letters
Week 3 - Friday, June 8 Formal communication I: best practices for oral presentations
Week 4 - Friday, June 15 All Day Field Trip to Rocky Mountain National Park*
Week 5 - Friday, June 22 Professional communication II: job searches, elevator speeches and informational interviewing
Week 6 - Friday, June 29 Professional communication III: resume review and interviewing strategies
Week 7 - Friday, July 6 Formal communication II: best practices for poster presentations; attending professional meetings and job fairs
Week 8 - Friday, July 13 Informal communications: communicating with outreach materials and social dimensions of science and science policy
Week 9 - Friday, July 20 Hands-on Illustrator Session (Guest Helper)
Week 10 - Friday, July 27 Practice talk #2: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (USIP presents)
Week 11 - Tuesday, July 31 Practice talk #3 (1:00 p.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
Final writing workshop (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)
Week 11 - Wednesday, August 1 Colloquium (9:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
Week 11 - Thursday, August 2 Practice poster presentations (10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
Poster Session at NCAR (2:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

* Field attire: Our field trips will not be particularly strenuous, but they will, of course, be outside. Appropriate attire includes a hat, sunglasses, light raingear, sunblock, and close-toed hiking shoes.

This syllabus is subject to change. We will do our best to keep you updated and to let you know of the course expectations well in advance. But there may be some impromptu changes, as we work to refine the class. Thank you for your patience.